Sunday, December 18, 2016

11 December 2016

Elder Yule and Elder Lewis in Antelope, California

Hello mother!

Yes I'm being transferred! I'm excited. Part of me is really sad but the rest of me is excited. I'm going to the Lincoln 5th Ward with Elder Cobabe. I know him a little bit. He is from Texas.  He's a manly man, all about guns, cars, country music and working out. So it's going to be fun! And he's notorious for helping his companions build a ton
of muscle. So I'm pretty pumped. And I've heard so many great things about the Ward. It's just going to be good.

That time lapse video of you decorating the Christmas tree is so cool! It's so cute with the three of you guys. It
looked like Riley was very helpful! I remember last Christmas I was home we had to have that fence around the tree so he couldn't get things. You can probably send the packages to my Lincoln address. It's just the apartments I'm living in now that are kinda sketchy. I'm sure the new one will be nicer. The man I got the sweaters from wasn't a member. Or an investigator really. You remember CM?  She is the one we baptized at the beginning of November. It was her step dad. We actually set a baptism date for her mother though. I'm a little bit sad I won't be here for that. 

I'm glad granddad is doing well. I love when it rains here. I love when it rains anywhere really, but it's just usually sunny here so I'm happy when it rains especially.

I'm quite jealous that you guys are watching those Christmas movies! I miss those! The house looks great too. It's crazy to see wood in the kitchen floor.  Haha! I'm also very glad Riley's dentist appointment went better than last time. He's a good boy, he is.

This week was good for us here! We passed out a ton of Christmas pass along cards!  Apparently we left one with our phone number on a Pastor's door. His name is Pastor Dan. He put our number in a big group text-thing so we keep getting texts from random people with Bible verses and stuff. It's funny!  

We had our Ward Christmas party. They did a live nativity thing.  The Elder's quorum were supposed to be in charge of the shepherds, but there were no elders there, except us. So we played the shepherds in the live nativity! 
I'm sad to be leaving Antelope. I got to know a few people really well. But I've heard incredible things about Lincoln and I'm excited!   I miss you guys and cannot wait to see you on Christmas. I love you!

Calum's new address:

Elder Calum Yule
174 South O Street, Apt 224
Lincoln, CA 


Sunday, December 11, 2016

4 December 2016

Hey Mum!

Transfers are next week, and I'm feeling 50/50 on whether I'll be transferred at this point. It could go either way. 

I'm so glad you are doing the Light the World thing! It's cool to see others do it. I liked how on the calendar yesterday said "attend a church service, you are always welcome to one of ours." I just thought that was kinda cute.

So I made this vow when I was a greenie that I wouldn't listen to Queen my entire mission. You know like if you go in a store and they have music on, that's fine, but if it's Queen I can't go in the store. I don't want to hear them until I'm home.  I refuse to listen to them out here. They will sound so much better when I'm home!

Will you take a time laps of you guys decorating the tree? Elder Osborne's mom did that with his family, I think that would be fun to see! I'd love some pictures of the house. That's good to hear Granddad is eating better. Do they have people come to their house and help him and Nana out?

I get 140 dollars a month on my mission card. And yeah it's for food and toiletries and stuff like that.  That's all I ever really buy anyway. The real thing is I eat out too much, but I haven't found something that I really want to make at lunch everyday. I just bought some taco/burrito stuff so I hope that keeps me set on lunch for a few weeks. That's  the only thing that I really have a hard time with haha! I will try to do better. 

(From Mum:  Here is my quote for Growth Mindset for this week  “Think of times other people outdid you and you just assumed they were smarter or more talented.  Now consider the idea that they just used better strategies, taught themselves more, practiced harder, and worked their way through obstacles.  You can do that, too, if you want to.”)  
I like that quote though. It's hard to compare to others sometimes. But we know it's better not to. 
This week was great! We has a lesson with C. M's mother.  Her husband just passed away, so we taught her the plan of salvation. She told us that she always had her own beliefs about God and religion but she said she never ever disagreed with the LDS church. So we set a baptism date for her.  We are excited for her. We also had dinner
with our investigator named M. She is awesome and just as social as can be. She always makes us feel welcome and always is interested in hearing about the gospel. We will hopefully help her progress here soon. We are planning on getting all Christmasy this week.  Setting up decorations and a tree and going caroling and what
not. I'm super excited! We will take lots of pictures. It's going to be a good Christmas season. I can't wait to see you on Christmas! Love you guys.

Elder Yule
Big Christmas Tree in Roseville.

We taught Zone Meeting today.  Both of these sweaters were given to me by a man who passed away last week.

27 November 2016

That sounds like an awesome weekend! I miss all the family. I miss fun trips to Saint George! I was pretty home sick this week. But it was still a fun week. There really wasn't anything notable that happened. Thanksgiving was good. Elder Lewis left his iPad on the roof of the car and of course it fell off. So it broke. We tried to find a place
that would fix it, but there we couldn't find anywhere. Finally Lewis said a prayer. We were driving to go see someone and there was a big poster outside this little place that said iPad repair. We went in and there was a middle eastern man who was just awesome. He did everything he could to get the price down for him and it ended up doing everything for 85 dollars. And it's perfectly fine now. He was a blessing haha. I've heard a lot about "terrorists" and stuff like that and I absolutely hate it. It really bugs me that people automatically think people from the Middle East hate Americans and they want to kill us. We had Thanksgiving dinner at a member in the Antelope 4th ward, the Castro family. They are really awesome.  It was so fun. I'm glad you guys had so much fun down in St. George! I'd love more pictures and videos and everything! Everyone looked so good! I can't wait for next
Thanksgiving haha! 
I'm sure you've seen the new Light the World video! It's awesome! It really helps us out a lot! It gives us something to focus on rather than just trying to make something up on the spot. I'm really excited for the 25 days of service thing. Are you guys going to do it? We really aren't working with anyone lately. It's kind of boring. And finding people to teach is quite hard, haha. But we are just trying to go hard on teaching less actives, they say that's the
place to find new investigators. So that's pretty much the basics of our missionary work lately. I have a feeling I'm going to be transferred at this next transfer. Which is on the 13th. I think that'll be good. I've been pretty depressed lately. Over nothing in particular. I can't stand it. I hope the holiday seasons cheers me up, and kind of changes my mindset. 
I miss you guys so much, I can't wait to see you guys on Christmas. Let's hope this week is more exciting here, so I have something to write home about. haha. I love and miss you.

Elder Yule

Thanksgiving 2016

So here is my first Thanksgiving meal.  It was a family from the Philippines so it wasn't very traditional.  They did have squid and clam which was kinda cool.

Then we went to the church after and a Polynesian family was having a big old dinner so they said "Elders!  Come get food!:

20 November 2016

Hi Mum,

This week was good. I came down with a bit of a cold on Thursday morning so zone conferences on Friday got the bad part of the cold. So it was kinda tough sitting through it. But it was good. They showed the Christmas initiative, it's a really cool video. They have a preview one out now, but the official one comes out on Friday I think. I'm excited for it. So you saw that we had to write talks about how the Book of Mormon has strengthened our testimony of Jesus Christ. So what happens is we all write a talk and while we are singing the opening hymn president writes some names on a piece of paper and gives it to whoever is conducting the meeting, then they just say the names. So we don't know who is going to give a talk. Well I got called on and gave my talk and what not, it was good. I was a little bit nervous with my sore throat. But I got through it and I thought I did alright. A. is doing great. She is coming to church and going to activities, she's gotten pretty close to some of the girls in the Ward. It's good. So no one in our Ward signed up to feed us on Thanksgiving. So a member in the Antelope 4th Ward offered to feed us.  I love the missionaries in my zone and I love my companion right now.  

That's probably best for granddad not to travel to St. George for Thanksgiving. That will be a fun trip. I was just thinking the other day how fun road trips down to Saint George and up to Seattle were. I miss those a lot. I've gotten a little less scared of driving since I've been out here, Elder Lewis doesn't really like driving so I've been doing most of it here. So when I come home I will help out driving more! 

 I'm glad youre not giving in to what people want just to be happy.  In our first Missionary Leadership Conference meeting, the new zone leaders are asked to stand and say what they want to accomplish while they are a zone leader. One Elder stood up and said "I just want to make everyone happy." And President kind of shut him down for that.  Leaders are not supposed to make everyone happy.  They are supposed to do what is right, and help others do the same. So it's cool to here that you already do everything that we are taught to do out here. I really miss listening to Queen sometimes haha! But I feel like I will appreciate them so much more when I get home.

Wednesday morning Elder Lewis and I were doing our studies when the smoke detector went off.  Well we had a candle lit so I blew it out quickly, then fanned the smoke out. The detector stopped beeping so we think it's all good.  Well a few seconds later our carbon monoxide alarm goes off...... so we are kind of freaking out, we left our apartment and just stayed away from it for the day, when we got back for the evening we remembered stories of missionaries sleeping with a carbon monoxide leak and dying in the night. So we called President a few times and he just didn't answer, so finally it was about 10:15 and we don't know what to do. We don't want to go to sleep and not wake up, but we don't want to do something President would not approve of. But we figured getting scolded would be better than dying.... so we shove 2 mattresses into our little Corolla... yes, 2 twin sized mattresses into our Corolla.  We folded them in half, one in the trunk and one in the backseat, and we drove to the 4th ward elders place and we spent the night there. We called President in the morning and told him what happened and he said we made the right choice. He also told us that these kinds of monitors get dust in them really easily so to clean it out then see what happens... so we cleaned it out and it never went off again. So it was just a false alarm but it was quite scary, haha! 

I love and miss you guys. I love those videos of little Riley. Anytime any of the guys in the district I'm in get frustrated they now say it like Riley in that video haha! They think he's so cute! And so do I! I love you and miss you. I hope you have a good week.

Elder Yule

California Dreamin'

13 November 2016

Hello Mum,

We have having zone conferences. They are always fun. The Christmas initiative is going to be introduced. Isn't that crazy? This is my second Christmas initiative.... they are always fun and missionary work is always good this time of year. (From Mum:  My favourite scriptures that have strengthened my testimony of Jesus Christ are 3 Nephi 17.  This is when Jesus blesses the children.  He shows such compassion for them.  That always touched my heart.)  I really like that chapter too, I might use that one. 

(I asked Calum:  Next week I am teaching in relief society about 'how to teach the gospel'.  One part talks about helping childen - thinking of young men or young women or primary age - to have their testimony and faith be in the gospel and the teachings and not in the the teacher.  I know that was a big deal as a missionary.  We did our part, but sometimes the converts had their attachment to the missionaries and when the missionary left the convert didn't always stay.  So we really tried to help the ward members friendship the converts to help avoid that.  What have you done to help the converts not have the attachment be to you as missionaries?  How are you sure their testimony is in the church and not just a love of you missionaries?)   That's a tough one sometimes. Sometimes people just like the person more than the gospel. That's a good way to do it, helping them have friends in the Ward. Really I think that's what the baptismal interview is for. All the interview is is bearing your testimony on what they've been taught. And you can tell if they actually have a testimony.

Sorry this email has been so short. I don't know why but I just am not in a super talkative mood right now. A few days ago we gave a man a blessing.  He was on hospice and wasn't doing very well.  When I gave the blessing I felt prompted to say that he would pass soon, and to release him into the next life. I felt scared to say it and I was shaking a little bit, but I said it. The family said that he had been cranky and mad and just not doing well, but after I gave the blessing they said he made his transition into the next stage of the process of passing away. I felt bad. But the family was happy to see him finally progress and be more peaceful. 

I miss you guys. Send me pictures of all of you guys. How is everyone doing? Are you still walking every day? Are the girls dating anyone? I love and miss you.

6 November 2016

Hi Calum,

I'm going to start with the growth mindset quote that I put in my weekly note to my teachers this week.  

“Mia Hamm tells us, “After every game or practice, if you walk off the field knowing that you gave everything you had, you will always be a winner.”  For those with the fixed mindset, success is about establishing their superiority, pure and simple.  Being that somebody who is worthier than the nobodies…Remember, in the fixed mindset, effort is not a cause for pride.  It is something that casts doubt on your talent.” 

I think that's how you felt as a soccer player.  You gave everything you had, win or lose, while in the game.  And in the end, that made you a winner, even if your team lost the game.  That is the growth mindset.  The fixed mindset says that if you have to work hard for something, then you don't have natural talent, and in that mindset, that is not a good thing.  That's why 'effort is not a cause for pride'.  The fixed mindset says you should be ashamed if you have to put forth effort.  It should come naturally.  I think you can apply this to your mission as well.  If you are giving your all, every day, then you are a winner as a missionary.  You can feel good about about what you are doing each day.  It's not about being superior to the other missionaries.  I believe that you are giving your all every day.  You can keep it up throughout the remainder of your mission.
Hello mum,

That's a super cool quote. President Marston talks about that all the time. If we don't get any lesson in a day if no one answers the door, if we never baptize anyone, if we can go to bed knowing we did our best, then we were a successful missionary.

I did get the parcel! I was so excited! Elder Osborne and I were just talking about how much we loved the Reeses that were in different shapes and then you sent those! We were super excited!
And Riley looked adorable in his little costume! And I got the video of him singing All My Loving! That was the cutest one ever! Elder Osborne loves the Beatles too, so I showed him and he said it was the cutest thing he's ever seen!

Tell him I said I miss him and I love him! And tell him to keep going to school and keep singing!

30 October 2016

Hello mum,

Happy Halloween! Make sure you take pictures of you guys in your costumes! And videos too! Hes a cute little Captain America. 
One thing I've learned is you can't make anyone do anything. They will do their thing and that's that.  You can encourage and try to persuade, but they make the decision for themselves. But it's always comforting to know that whatever they do its what Heavenly Father needed them to do, and He knew they were going to do it, and it has a purpose. Thats a pretty deep subject for a little boy who just got shy, but it just got me thinking haha.
That's so cute about him snuggling before bed. I miss his little snuggles. You'll have to take some videos of him when he says all this cute stuff. I'm sure you dont have your phone on him every second but try to get some cute videos.
I did get the three letters. It is always nice getting something in the mail.  We felt like Elder Stoddard is leaving. And we were right. Elder Stoddard is being transferred and I am getting Elder Lewis who I was in the MTC with! We weren't companions but we were in the same room, I love that guy so I'm excited! I'm staying next to the mission office for at least one more transfer. Also something else kinda cool is I hit my 13 month mark yesterday. October went by quick didn't it?
Update on my week, C. is still on track for baptism.  It's going down this Saturday at 10 am. I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting. It was a ten minute talk. Maybe I'll send it to you. I dont know how I feel about it. It was on the Book of Mormon. I don't think I've ever asked you what your favorite scripture is? What is your favorite from the Book of Mormon and the Bible? I miss you guys. I love you guys. I only have 11 months left! Haha thats crazy! Talk to you later mum. Love you.

Elder Yule

23 October 2016

We decided to do something different for p day today.  All the elders in our zone went out to this big park thing and just rode our bikes around and just hung out. We also tried catching some squirrels haha! My companion Elder Stoddard loves hunting and fishing so he's all about that kind of stuff. But of course we didnt have wifi. This week was good, we had a zone blitz in the Antelope 4th ward. Each missionary in the zone pretty much just went on splits with a Ward missionary in the 4th Ward and contacted some less active members. There were some miracles, not really on the route Brother Gurtz and I had, but some of them got in and even had some lessons with these people. That was really the only notable thing from this week. C. came to church again.  She is on track for her baptism. We are PUMPED! She is solid as a rock.  I love you! 

16 October 2016

Hi mum,

This week was alright. S., the one we had to be bold with about coming to church pretty much dropped us. Our
relief society president called her and asked if she could give her a ride to church and S. basically told her she was done going to church and to leave her alone. When we talked to her she made it sound like
she was going to try harder this week, but apparently that's not whatshe meant. So we will just have to see how things pan out.  We are still going to visit once in a while. The other women we have on date for baptism is C.  She is totally solid. She came to church yesterday and wasall dressed up and what not.  It was awesome. We have a really cool investigator in the YSA.  I might have told you about her already but her name is A. She is this really cool girl. She is really cool and funny. Things are good here. The transfer ends in 2 weeks I'm looking forward to it. I think the changes will be good.

I've grown to appreciate your patience in meetings. There are a few extra meetings for zl's and it is brutal. I don't know how you do it.

I think your relief society lesson on charity is a very cool subject. One scripture says that having charity is putting away childish things, and how I took that was a child does things for themselves most of the time.  They see playing soccer as more important than helping someone out.  And to put childish things away means to put someone else's needs in front of your wants.  Which is really cool. I'm sure you taught a great lesson.
I love and miss you guys.

Elder Yule

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Antelope, California

It rained for the first time in months!  It was awesome.

10 October 2016

Hello Mum,

I dont think i sent you a picture of my cake did I? I'll send you. I told you a sister in the zone made it for me, it looked great!  We had Mission Leadership Council this week and I wore the tie you sent me and EVERYONE loved it and complimented it. Also for my birthday I might have told you this but we had to get tiwi put in our car and the guy was really late, so we sat in the mission office until about 4 o'clock. So really I had a 2 hour p-day on my birthday. We usually just play some basketball with such a small zone.

So our baptism candidates..... it's a little bit complicated with one of them. It is a requirement for baptism for them to come to church at least 3 times before they are baptized and S. hasn't and won't be able to reach that with her date being on Oct. 22. She always cancels right before her ride gets there. She wants to be baptized but can't make the
leap of faith that it takes. So she is not on date right now.  We will pick a new date this week I am sure. It is quite frustrating of course, but we know if Heavenly Father wants her to be baptized at this time, she will. Our other women on date, C., seems to be solid.  We had a prompting to call her the other night and just check in on her and see how she is doing and it turns out that she had to have a kind of emergency surgery the day we called, so she really appreciated that we were thinking about her.

As for the rest of our area there isn't too much extra work. We are teaching a young women in the YSA, her name is A, and she is awesome. She always has really good genuine questions and she is fun to teach!  We took her on a chapel tour, and taught some of the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson.  She is really cool. And she did come to church yesterday. Thank heavens the people in the YSA are so friendly and welcoming. The relief society president came right over as soon as she walked in and introduced herself and asked if she wanted to sit next to her. People like that make my job a thousand times easier. Also there is this really big (not fat, really thick and muscular)
Polynesian guy in the YSA who talked to A. for a long time and A. is this tiny little black girl, I'd be surprised if she weighs more than 110 pounds.  But she and this guy just hit it off and they talked for ages. It was pretty sweet. Haha!

I love and miss you guys so much!

3 October 2016- Calum's 20th Birthday

Hi Mum! Sorry I haven't written. Early today we had to get tiwi put in our car. I might have already told you about it but if I didn't, it's basically a monitoring system for our car so we don't go too fast or drive aggressively.  So we were told it might take a few hours. Well the installation guy was late. So my P-day birthday started at 4.  We had to sit at the mission office from 10-4 so it wasn't the best p-day/birthday ever, but it's been an awesome day still. We got to see some other cool missionaries.
That's cool about our plant. Which one is it?
From my letter to Calum: Well, I hope you have a lovely birthday!  I am thinking about you and missing you very much.  You are on the downhill slide.  It's so hard to believe you have been gone a year.  I think about you and miss you every day.  But I never think about you being gone for two years.  That's such a long time.  I just think from one Monday to the next when I know I will hear from you.  So I really only miss you for one week at a time.  Have a wonderful birthday!  Celebrate with your companions.  Let me know everything you do.  
It really doesn't feel like a year!  But a lot has happened. I think it's the same for me, I just take it week by week and that doesn't seem to make it feel so long.
I'll write more later. I love you mum. I'm thankful for you guys at home and I miss you.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October General Conference 2016

Pancakes for Conference lunch!
We tried to make an A for Antelope

This is the Antelope, California Stake Center.  It is a massive building!  It has 2 chapels.  They jokingly call it the Antelope Temple.

25 September 2016

Something exciting happened this week too! It doesn't feel that crazy, but when you think about it it's pretty cool. We got an online referral for a women named CM. We go over there and meet her, and she wants to be baptized!  Within 20 minutes we had settled on a date!  It all just happened so fast it didn't feel crazy. Haha. So we have S and C on date for baptism.  When a few weeks ago we had nothing going. It's weird how things pick up then stop then pick up and stop. It's a funny little cycle. Transfers were this week too.  Stoddard and I are staying together as ZLs.  We got a new greenie from Pleasant Grove.  He played soccer there. I'm pretty sure we played them once? It's kind of weird, he and another greenie in the zone graduated in 2016. It doesn't feel like it's been that long. 
One year this Friday. (Calum's one year mark was September 30th!)

So this week I did some laundry, and umm.... I left a pen in my pocket... my shirt pocket... my white shirt pocket..... so there are some blue lines on some of my shirts.  A women in Chico told me to spray the marks with hairspray and wash them again so I'll try that first, but if you have any ideas let me know. And it's really not too bad. It's mostly just a few dots here and there. And they're hardly noticeable.

I hope you guys are being blessed for what I'm doing.  I go out and get to feel the spirit all the time and have fun with some cool missionaries and you guys are blessed, that's a pretty "slick deal."(That's kinda trying to be like granddad) we sure are blessed. I dunno if I've already told you this but someone in Redding would always say "too blessed to be stressed" which I think is a pretty cool little saying. I love and miss you guys.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

19 September 2016

So this week was pretty awesome. On Tuesday we got a phone call from a less active member, and she told us she had a friend over who wants to hear the gospel. So we get over there and the first thing that happens when we walk up is we hear the husband of the less active yelling and swearing at the son who lives there. And the son yelling and swearing back. So it was a weird start to things and we thought, "there's no way the spirit is going to be here."  But we get in there and things calm down.  We start talking and the first thing she says is she doesn't know how to pray and that she's really embarrassed about that.  But guess what the main focus throughout the whole mission was? It was prayer! It was crazy, I know how to teach prayer, but if we hadn't been focusing on it lately we would not have thought it so well. So after that we started teaching the restoration and half way through she and the less active said I think we are ready to take the next step. So we asked if she was ready and willing to change, and she said yes, I want to be baptized! So we set a goal for October 15! I'm so excited! She seems so sweet and sincere.  I really hope it all works out smoothly.

Things at home seem to be stressful, but I'm glad you're finding the blessing in things. I don't like cheesy
things, but the saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is 100% true. I don't think these problems are going to kill you. You'll be good mum.  One Elder who is home now told me to write a blessing or a miracle in your journal every night. I haven't been very good at that, but I'll try to be better because it seems like you are trying to be better finding blessings.

(Emma was in a car accident in the van.  She was T-boned and the van was knocked over onto its passenger side. It was a blessing that she was not hurt more than a bump on the head.  But the van was totaled)  

That would have be terrible if they had just junked the van without you letting them know. It makes me sad that the car is totaled, but I'm glad we got enough money out of it, that's a huge blessing. And that will be exciting to have a Camry and a Corolla. It's also very good to hear that Emma is going to start paying for the Corolla. That will be good for her and you. And the washing machine broke too??  Do we know what's wrong with the washer? Do you have to go to the laundromat or something for now? We don't have a washer at our place but we go to the Dry Creek Ward's apartment and they have a massive one.  I can do all my whites in one load! Which is saying something. Haha. I've been trying not to spend as much as I have been. Please don't feel the need to keep filling my card when I spend the money too quickly. I should be able to manage my money better anyway. And with the smaller car you said it would be a little bit cheaper? That's awesome. Maybe that's why the accident happened? In the end do you think it will help us have a little bit more money? This is a quote I use literally every day out here, it's in 2 Nephi 2:2 "he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy good."

Again another cheesy kinda pick me up, but I hope that helps. Each week we have a prayer roll so I put you and Emma's name on it. And of course I am praying for you guys. I miss you mum and I'm glad that you are finding all these blessings.

That's a very cute story about Riley and the missionary in primary.  He kept staring at him?  haha! He's a good boy going to church! I miss him. I was playing with a 5 year old the other day thinking "is this what it's going to be like when I get home?" It makes me sad I'm missing all these adorable moments. 

Grandpa and Nana look great in the picture. And that's fun that he got to see his brother and sister in law. That's a little bit scary that he lost so much weight from removing the fluid from his stomach! That's crazy how much they weighed I guess.

As far as the things I'm doing as a zone leader, it's honestly not too much different.  We do have one extra meeting every third Sunday called Stake missionary correlation meeting. So it's us, the stake presidency, and President Marston. It is supposed to be a meeting about the missionary work in the stake, but a lot of time it ends up being the stake presidency scolding us for not baptizing more people and then President Marston defending us and assuring the stake presidency that we are good missionaries and we are doing our best.  Then the stake presidency saying, ok we believe you. Haha, yeah it's brutal sometimes. But we really have nothing to worry about. We know we are working our hardest and so does President, even though it may not show in the numbers a lot of times.

I love and miss you guys.
-Elder Yule

Sunday, September 11, 2016


We got to go to a seminary class and do some practice teaching.  We were paired up with students as our companions.  And we helped them answer questions that they have been asked, and questions they had about the church.  It was so fun!  But we had to wake up at 5:00 a.m., which was brutal.  I don't know how anyone does early morning seminary!  

A Funny Story

This is all of us - Elder Stoddard, Elder Lamattina and I- the night we dropped Lamattina off.  the reason why we're laughing so hard is because we were a bit early to drop him off.  So we just pulled in a random parking lot and, you know, we needed a picture together before he left.  So we're taking the picture and then we look up and there are a bunch of people walking out of the building where we were parked.  It was a Catholic Church!  So we were trying to hurry and take a picture before these Catholic people see three Mormon missionaries taking selfies in their parking lot!

5 September 2016

Your Labor Day weekend in St. George sounds awesome! I miss Saint George and swimming haha! 

I did pick up the ukulele out here. I bought a little one at the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop in Redding when I was volunteering there.  It didn't have a nut so I made a makeshift one out of a pencil. So it doesn't sound amazing but it's my baby, haha. Then President Marston kind of cracked down on no instruments, so I put it away in my closet and haven't played it. The little knowledge I have of the guitar made the ukulele a piece of cake.

So here's a quick run down of my week, we had MLC or Missionary Leadership Council. All the zone leaders get together and talk about numbers and what not.  That was awesome. I got to see a ton of my buddies from past zones and stuff. It was really cool. It is held in Gridley, which is about and hour and a half drive from Antelope. So the Citrus Heights, Roseville, and Lincoln zone leaders all drove up with us. As the Antelope zone leaders we are in charge of the mission van. This big white van that we take other missionaries around in. Really we mainly use it for MLC. So all those zone leaders get in and  Elder Stoddard and I have the responsibility to drive. Well he drove last time so I got to drive this big van an hour and a half up and back. It was so fun! We call it the party bus, haha. 

Another important think that happened this week was a missionary in our zone was going home due to medical reasons.  So what does President Marston do with his lone companion? He give him to us. So again I am in a trio with 2 companions. We have to cover his Ward too for 2 weeks, which is when the transfer ends. The Dry Creek
Ward is really pretty, so it's okay. Elder Ball is a good kid and I'm glad he's with us. Those are the main things that happened this week. I'll write more later. 

I love you mum. I am truly sorry I always said I was embarrassed of our house. Our house sounds like absolute
heaven on earth right now. I love and miss you guys.

                                                   If you drive it, you get to take a picture on the hood.

28 August 2016

Hello mum, this week was good. There were some crazy moments this week. Just mentally I felt incredibly low. There were just little periods of depression. We had zone conference.  Because I'm a zone leader in the hosting zone I had to conduct the meeting. Which wasn't too bad. I got to see some of my old companions, Elder Phelps and Elder Bean, who are actually now companions. So we talked all the time about the good old days. Haha. They've told me when one of them does something they learned from me they say "Thats a Yule thing!" Haha.  I love those guys! Also in this zone conference the Antelope Zone had to do a musical number, so we decided we'd sing "We'll Bring the World his Truth (Army of Helaman)".   I borrowed a member's ukulele and I played the song while we sang it. It was awesome! I was really nervous to play in front of all those missionaries, but it went great! And it was really fun. The main focus of the zone conference was obedience. That's where those depressed periods came from I think. Not that I have been disobedient, but I can always do better and I just got really down that I haven't been doing better. Other than that it was a great week.

(So we thought it was pretty funny that Calum played the ukulele for the zone conference, because he doesn't play the ukulele!!!!  At least he didn't when he left.)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Email sent by President Marston, Calum's Mission President, 23 August 2016

Dear Missionaries,

The Prophet Joseph Smith stated “Men and angels are to be co-workers in bringing to pass this great work.”

Psalms 91: 11
For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Doctrine and Covenants 109:22
“And we ask thee, Holy Father, that they servants may go forth from this house armed with my power, and that thy name may be upon them,
And thy glory round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;

Doctrine and Covenant 84:88
“And whosoever receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit
Shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”

Over these past several days I have been blessed to know of the truth and reality of these scriptures as they relate to our missionaries and angels and prayers that protect us.
I would like to share with you these thoughts and experiences and impressions (as described by the missionaries involved and paraphrasing after my telephone conversations with them)
Angels lifted and gently and softly cared for a missionary

“We were biking down a very steep hill, heading to our next appointment. My companion was ahead of me and we were going close to 20 miles per hour. From a side road came a car that was going equally fast. However, the driver did not see me as she started her very swift turn. I tried to swerve and brake to slow down but alas, I didn't turn enough. My bike hit her car in the back corner. I did a disfigured swan dive over her fender and hit the ground, My bike had snapped in to 3 pieces. It was broken in such a way that it looked as if someone had actually sawed through the front fork. Which  caused my bike to move in such a way that protected me from major damage. Because of this amazing break in the bike I only got 2 small scrapes on my knee and palm. I got up immediately and felt no pain or pressure. One of the witnesses was a sports therapist. He said that when he saw me flip over the fender at the speed I was going, he thought I was dead or at least in a coma. Angels are ministering to those who are in the Lord's work. They protected me in a very real way.”

Angels surrounded and protected and kept safe a companionship

As I drove through an intersection, a truck hit our passenger side fender, causing the vehicle to spin 180 degrees, after which our passenger rear
quarter panel hit the truck. The truck tore through our engine block, completely mangling the front end of the vehicle. After spinning out,
the rear passenger quarter panel smashed into the truck, causing it to cave in.   The front and side air bags all deployed. 

The impact of the accident caused the     frame to crack on the other truck.  Both vehicles were undriveable following the accident.
My companion and I were able to open the doors, get out of our car, walk away without any physical injury.  We had follow-up medical evaluation that gave us each a clean bill of health.
Everyone who saw the accident exclaimed that it was a miracle there were NO injuries to anyone.  We were wearing our seat belts but know that angels were surrounding us and shielding us from injury.

Angels from on high attended and rejoiced with the creation of a new family unit in the Kingdom of God

          Wednesday was our daughters sealing in the Salt Lake Temple.  I had been up very early that morning taking a missionary to the Sacramento airport.  This missionary  is a loving and wonderful missionary who has been given the opportunity to continue on in his missionary service in the Alabama Birmingham Mission. After dropping him off at the airport  I had some time to just enjoy the early morning  so I drove to the Sacramento Temple grounds and found a private bench and watched as the sun rose.  I wanted to take a few moments to ponder about the covenant that would take place in just a couple of hours with Kristine and Joey.  I had made arrangements to attend an endowment session of the temple that would coincide with the sealing time so that we would all be in the Temples at the same time but far apart.  As I attended the Temple that morning additional insights were given to me regarding our relationship with a loving Father in Heaven and the need for a Savior and the joy of God’s plan for each of us.  There were only a few people on this session so as I stood in the Celestial Room it was as if I were there by myself.  I looked around at the beauty that surrounded me and the way the morning sunlight was coming through the stained and etched glass windows.  The sun was sending beams of light throughout the room as it reflected and bounced off the immense crystal chandelier in the center of the room.  It seemed I truly understood heaven a bit more and felt what heaven must be like.

The Temple President, President Papa, came into the room and saw me standing there.  We have grown close together in our callings and have great love for each other.  He asked me if I was there with missionaries.  I told him, no, that I was there by myself as my daughter was getting married and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple at that exact moment.  He remembered our daughter from a few weeks prior as she and Joey and his family had come to Sacramento so that I could be with Kristine and Joey as they received their Temple ordinances for the first time.  President Papa asked if I would like to sit in a sealing room while I thought about my daughter.  He offered to let me read the exact words of the temple sealing and marriage covenant while in that sacred room inserting the names of Kristine and Joey at the appropriate times.  He showed me where I would be sitting as witness to the sealing if I were in the sealing room with Kristine in Salt Lake City.  President Papa told me of the promptings he had had to come to the Celestial Room exactly at that time.  If he had come in a few minutes before or a few minutes after I would have not been in the Celestial Room and this special experience would have not happened.   While I was reading and re-reading the powerful words and promises of the sealing covenant my eyes were brimming and overflowing with the love that I felt from my Father in Heaven and my Savior.  I thought for an instant that I was alone in that sealing room, but the longer I sat there the fuller the room became until it was filled with all those I love the most in this world both here on the earth and those gone on to the heavens above.  My spiritual self then saw the ceremony as it was happening in Salt Lake City:  Kristine and her mother side by side and rows of my posterity gathered together.  And friends and other family sitting close to each other, peaceful and happy as they witnessed another family unit created under the power of the Priesthood of God. I “witnessed” Kristine and Joey kneel at the alter and make and keep sacred covenants.  I was with them and they were with me.  As mirrors on the walls reflected a visual representation of eternity they also reflected and brought to the Sacramento Temple those in the Salt Lake Temple.  My joy was complete.  I was with my daughter that morning.  Angels from beyond the veil attended the ceremony.  Promptings from the Spirit were received by President Papa and myself so that I could witness the marriage of my daughter.  Heavenly Father loves me and supplies for my every need and want.  I want to live my life such that I can always feel of God’s love for me.  Miracles happened that day, indeed. 
I testify of a loving Father in Heaven and a merciful Savior.  I testify of the power of the Holy Ghost and of the existence of angels who assist us in our work.

Best regards,
President Michael F. Marston